College of Law and Sutton Trust fund scheme to improve diversity of judges and barristers

The College of Law and charity the Sutton Trust have donated £1.5m to a scheme to attract non-public school educated people into the legal professional.

Called Pathways to Law, the project has been established in response to research by the charity last year that revealed that former public school pupils continue to dominate the legal profession.

The Sutton Trust’s research showed more than half the partners at top firms were privately educated. It also showed more than two thirds of barristers had been to private schools, as had three out of four judges.

The scheme will target state school pupils and mentor them through A-level and university.

It will also introduce students to contacts in the legal world, leading to work experience and placements with firms and barristers chambers.

It is anticipated that 750 pupils a year will be put through the scheme. If all these were to be given training contracts, based on current figures they would comprise one eighth of new trainees in the legal profession.

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